(I've tried to write this many times over the last month, but just haven't been able to do so. These few words will never begin to cover my thoughts and feelings of the events over the last couple of months; nor will they touch how much I miss my mom and how much I loved her. Words alone could never be enough.)
It's still so surreal that I can't quite wrap my head around it. It's unfathomable, really. How does one go from alive and (mostly) well in October, to passing away in December with a horrible infection that stemmed not from the initial injury, but from poor care in a facility that's supposed to help you recover and get back to your life?
Mom was such a fighter. She kept her spirits and sense of humor up as long as she could. Near the end, she was suffering so much she just couldn't take it any longer. The Sunday before she passed away, we'd gone to visit her in the hospital before we picked up dad from the rehab facility to come home. When Kevin and I walked in the door, mom smiled and said she was glad to see us and that she wanted to talk to all of us. I knew then and there what she was going to say - and she did. She told us all that she loved us very much, but that she was ready to go. It was just too much for her to continue to fight. One day she'd be a bit better, then the next, much worse. She just needed the rollercoaster ride to end.
That Tuesday we brought her home with hospice care. By the time mom arrived, she was mostly sleeping by benefit of morphine. But when they brought her in the house, we said "Mom, you're home. Welcome home!", and she opened her eyes and had a huge grin on her face. She knew she was home, safe, and with the people who loved her the most. That night, we all had dinner together at the house with mom right there in the middle of things. We shared dinner as well as stories and laughter. The next morning at about 6:30, the hospice nurse phoned to say that mom's blood pressure had dropped and her breathing was faint. Kevin and I walked in the door at 6:50 and she had just passed.
I'm so sad to have lost my mom. She was truly a very special woman; a friend as well as a mother. However, I'm so grateful to God that her suffering is over. She deserves to be happy and pain-free, and that's exactly what she is now.
This past Sunday, we had mom's memorial service. It was wonderful to have so many family and friends there to share such a special event. It meant the world to all of us.
Mom, I know you know it, but I just want to say that I love you with all my heart. How thankful I am to have years and years of wonderful memories of you and our life together. Thank you for always being there for me; for loving me even when I wasn't lovable; for teaching me how to live and to love, and how to make it in this crazy world with a positive attitude and boundless sense of humor. Though we're apart now, I know that one day we'll be together again. God willing, it's a long ways off, but I'm looking forward to seeing you and catching up. In the meantime...how's the email server in Heaven?